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A Tribute Poem

My students are working on tribute poems right now based on the poetry of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. I used the poem "Throw Pillows" that he wrote about his aunts as a foundation for the class. After we read the poem, we discussed it at length. When I introduced the students to the planning stage, I shared the poem I wrote about my grandfather Papaw, which I wrote using the same technique they would use. Some students asked if they could write TWO poems, one about each grandparent, parents, or siblings. Last night, I decided to run with their idea...I'm going to write one about each of my four grandparents. Here's the one I created at about 1:15 am, when I couldn't sleep. (Thanks to impending school budget cuts.)

My Memom


She taught me how to roll a

pie crust

so thin it was like parchment

and then tenderly lift it

into the fluted tin pan.

We used mine to learn

various pie-patching techniques


She washed my hair with

rain water

and remarked on how soft,

shiny, and curly it could be

as she lovingly combed out tangles

from climbing the mulberry tree

or swinging on the tire swing


She showed me how to catch

lightning bugs

gently putting them in a Mason jar

with sticks and leaves

so they wouldn’t be scared.

They winked on my nightstand

as I snuggled under a thin, blue summer quilt.

By Marjorie Light (4/5/10)

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